A new anthology of choral music by 20th and 21st century Irish composers was launched at the Arts Council yesterday afternoon (Thursday 18 October) with a performance by the National Chamber Choir conducted by Paul Hillier.
Choirland is a 216-page collection of fifteen pieces for unaccompanied mixed choir with performance notes by Anne Barry and Alan Leech. In his introduction, Hillier writes:
Since becoming Artistic Director of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland in 2008 I have had a lot of fun exploring Irish choral music, searching for new repertoire to perform. Although the pieces collected here are very diverse in style – and range of difficulty – it does seem to me, as a foreigner, that the music represents a quality of Irishness: not just in the folk tunes or the Gaelic texts, but in all the pieces, the complex ones as well as the easy ones. Overall, I find a freshness of spirit, an exuberance of invention, and music that is unconventional, yet exhilirating to perform and great to listen to. It seems to me that Ireland should be extremely proud of its choral music, and I believe this anthology will demonstrate why and encourage others to partake!
The works performed at the launch were David Fennessy’s chOirland (which also featured in the NCC’s An Irish Colloquy tour in April), Colin Mawby’s Alleluia, Christus Resurrexit and Ben Hanlon’s Molaimis go léir an tAon-Mhac Críost. The anthology also contains works by Gerald Barry, Enda Bates, Séamas de Barra, Eric Sweeney, Rhona Clarke, Séoirse Bodley, Brian Boydell, Aloys Fleischmann, Frank Corcoran, Fiontán Ó Cearbhaill, Éamonn Ó Gallchobhair and Gerald Victory.
Choirland is published by the Contemporary Music Centre and has been produced in partnership with the Association of Irish Choirs and the National Chamber Choir with funding from the Arts Council. The anthology was launched by Dinny McGinley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It is available to purchase for €20 from the CMC website.
For a full list of works, see below:
Gerald Barry (b.1952) – Long time (2011)
Enda Bates (b.1979) – Pauper’s Lament (2010)
Seóirse Bodley (b.1933) – I will walk with my love (1981)
Brian Boydell (1917–2000) – Come Sleep (1964)
Rhona Clarke (b.1958) – Regina Coeli (from Two Marian Anthems) (2007)
Frank Corcoran (b.1944) – Caoine (1975)
Séamas De Barra (b.1955) – Ave Maria (1985)
David Fennessy (b.1976) – chOirland (2002)
Aloys Fleischmann (1910–1922) – Na Trí Captaení Loinge (1956)
Ben Hanlon (b.1952) – Molaimis go léir an tAon-Mhac Críost (2008)
Colin Mawby (b.1936) – Alleluia, Christus Resurrexit (1986)
Fiontán Ó Cearbhaill (1922–1981) – Suantraí ár Slánaitheora (1979)
Éamonn Ó Gallchobhair (1900–1982) – An Teitheadh go hÉigipt (1975)
Eric Sweeney (b.1948) – There is no rose (1981)
Gerard Victory (1921–1995) – Sliabh Geal gCua (1982)
Published on 19 October 2012